Date: 6/3/19 1:34 pm
From: Gail Mackiernan <katahdinss...>
Subject: Re: The "Voice" shuts down was: Re: [MDBirding] DC Area, 5/28/2019
Actually, I find the still-existing weekly RBAs an important source of information on what is being seen. You really get a good overview of what is happening birdwise, just from these short summaries. And they are especially useful for out-of-town visitors since RBAs do not, unlike eBird alerts, only focus on rarities. Although we primarily used eBird in planning a trip last year to Arizona, the AZ-NM RBA was also very useful for a general overview as well as details on site access for some of the rarities.

Adding to Phil Davis’ summary of “how we get our birding info” - we in the US have never developed the extensive “pager” (now chiefly mobile phone-based) paid subscription alert systems that have existed for decades in the U.K. and in some European countries.

Gail Mackiernan
Colesville, MD

Sent from my iPad

> On Jun 3, 2019, at 11:24 AM, Linda Just <ljustrn...> wrote:
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
> From: Linda Just <ljustrn...>
> Date: Mon, Jun 3, 2019 at 11:22 AM
> Subject: Re: The "Voice" shuts down was: Re: [MDBirding] DC Area, 5/28/2019
> To: Tony Futcher <tonyfutcher1...>
>
>
> Such a bittersweet ending. I also relied on the voice to plan my birding trips. Back then, there was no eBird to search, and I didn’t have a computer until the turn of the century. The voice was an indispensable source to finding birds. Younger folks can’t appreciate it, but as someone else said, us whipper snappers do!
>
> Lin Just, fellow whipper snapper
> Colora, Md
>
>> On Mon, Jun 3, 2019 at 10:40 AM 'Tony Futcher' via Maryland & DC Birding <mdbirding...> wrote:
>> Phil, thank you for that list of milestones. It is nostalgic! I started with the phone-up Voice, and quickly got onto Norm's Osprey Nest, until it marched into the sunset.
>>
>> That 4 Jan 2000 voice pointed me to the three MD birds that I was able to add to my MD list.
>>
>> Thanks for the memories Phil, and all other contributors to the RBAs in what ever form!
>>
>> Tony
>>
>> Tony Futcher
>> Hyattsville, MD
>> <tonyfutcher1...>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Phil Davis <pdavis...>
>> To: MDbirding <mdbirding...>
>> Sent: Sun, Jun 2, 2019 6:47 pm
>> Subject: The "Voice" shuts down was: Re: [MDBirding] DC Area, 5/28/2019
>>
>> Hi everyone:
>>
>> I want to share my appreciation for the efforts of the Voice of the Naturalist (VON) crew over the many years of operation.
>>
>> I saw Lydia at the MOS Convention this weekend and personally thanked her for her efforts, but I want to make sure that my thanks were extended to all of the others that worked on the Voice over the years, up to the present.
>>
>> For all of you young "whippersnappers" out there, (voice) recorded rare bird alerts were our "eBird alerts" of the day.
>>
>> Let's reflect ...
>>
>> First (after the telephone was invented <grin>), there were club "phone trees" to spread the word of rarities ...
>>
>> Then compiled voice message-input rare bird alerts (like the VON) came on-line where a compiler prepared and recorded a transcript of sighting reports. Observers left voice messages and periodically (usually once a week, but for some hot spot places, more frequently, even daily) the messages were transcribed by a volunteer and recorded on a voice answering machine ...
>>
>> Then, out west, they started using "bird boxes" which were computer-controlled voice recording and playback systems where you added your voice message report (if you knew the password) and others could call-in and listen to all of the daily reports ...
>>
>> Then, dial-in modem-based "bulletin boards" (BBS) came in during the early-mid 1990s where alerts could be posted and downloaded "in real time" ...
>>
>> Then, in the late 1990s, email listservers sped up the BBS service and made it more accessible ...
>>
>> eBird started up in 2002, with eBird alerts following a few years later ...
>>
>> And, recall that the iPhone was not available until 2007!
>>
>>
>> So, in the "old days," when you planned a trip across the country to chase rarities, you have to be a master of communications logistics (what was available, where, what phone numbers to use, etc.).
>>
>>
>> Over the years, our area VON provided and filled-in lots of details of regional rarity reports for our records committee database.
>>
>> I was hoping that the entire archives of the VON could be captured and archived, but I now understand that this is not possible, since the older transcripts no longer exist. Sigh ...
>>
>> My personal oldest email copy of the VON (from when the transcript was typed up and posted to Norm Saunders' MDOsprey listserver) is from 4 Jan 2000 (compiled by Lydia and transcribed by Steve Cordle). It featured the following:
>>
>> Top birds this week are NORTHERN LAPWING in DE; KELP GULL* and NORTHERN SHRIKE* in MD; and RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, and HARRIS' SPARROW in VA.
>> Other birds of interest include: waterfowl, raptors including GOLDEN EAGLE and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, WILD TURKEY, KING RAIL, gulls, SHORT-EARED OWLS, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, sparrows including LARK SPARROW, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, and SNOW BUNTING.
>>
>> Ah, nostalgia just isn't what it used to be ...
>>
>> Thanks, again, to all who worked on the "Voice" !
>>
>> Phil
>>
>>
>>> On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, Lydia Schindler <lydia13621...> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hotline: Voice of the Naturalist
>>> Date: 5/28/2019
>>> Coverage: MD/DC/VA/central and southern DE/WV panhandle
>>> Reports, comments, questions: <voice...>
>>> Compiler: Lydia Schindler
>>> Sponsor: Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central
>>> Atlantic States (independent of NAS)
>>> Transcriber: Steve Cordle
>>>
>>> NOTICE: For more than 40 years the Voice of the Naturalist has
>>> provided DC area birders with a weekly update of notable
>>> sightings. Initially the Voice was a unique resource, and each
>>> Tuesday report was eagerly awaited and devoured. Today the
>>> birding community has access to an abundance of
>>> information**, often instantaneous, and it is time: THE VOICE
>>> OF THE NATURALIST IS RETIRING WITH THIS REPORT.
>>>
>>> We thank all of you for your many contributions and your support, and
>>> we wish you very good birding!
>> ===================================================
>> Phil Davis, Secretary
>> MD/DC Records Committee
>> 2549 Vale Court
>> Davidsonville, Maryland 21035 USA
>> 301-261-0184
>> <pdavis...>
>>
>> ===================================================
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